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Insect Resistance Management (IRM)

Insect Resistance Management (IRM)


In order to preserve trait durability, it is everyone’s responsibility to prevent insecticide resistance from occurring. By implementing a robust IRM plan that is part of a larger Integrated Pest Management (IPM) strategy is the most effective way to prevent resistance from occurring. That includes multiple Best Management Practices (BMP’s).

One important component of a successful management plan is to plant a block of corn that does not control the target pest(s), known as a refuge, near insect-protected hybrids. The refuge sustains a population of susceptible target pests to mate with any rare resistant species that may emerge from these same or nearby corn hybrids.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requires a refuge on every farm that plants insect-protected hybrids. Failure to plant the appropriate refuge jeopardizes continued access to Agrisure technology.

A signed and returned Stewardship agreement, which includes growers consent to implement an IRM Program, is required prior to planting corn hybrids with Agrisure traits.

While planting a refuge is one important component of a robust IRM program, it is not the only one. In addition to planting a refuge, a sound IPM strategy is the most effective way to prevent Corn Rootworm (CRW) resistance. Implementation of Best Management Practices on farm, including crop and trait rotation, are important key components in an overall comprehensive IRM program.

See attached Corn Rootworm BMP Flier for more details around BMP's.


Syngenta Seeds and other industry registrants of trait products that provide insect-protected hybrids have coordinately developed and implemented the EPA-mandated Insect Resistance Management (IRM) Compliance Assurance Program. This program requires corn seed companies to evaluate the extent to which growers are adhering to the IRM requirements and ensure that those who do not are brought back into compliance. Growers who do not meet IRM requirements for two years within a five year period may be denied access to hybrids with Agrisure insect-protected traits in the third year.


To assess compliance, Syngenta Seeds and other seed companies will conduct on-farm assessments of randomly selected customers who purchased hybrids with Agrisure insect-protected traits. Following each on-farm assessment, Syngenta will determine if the grower is in compliance based on EPA requirements.


All growers found to be out of compliance will receive a letter informing them of their compliance infraction, reminding them of their compliance obligations and the consequences of not adhering to the requirements. Included in each letter will be further instructional information on how to develop and implement a suitable IRM program for their farm. Additionally, any grower found to be out of compliance will receive a follow-up IRM assessment the next growing season.


Seed companies that sell insect-protected hybrids are required by the EPA to establish a system to collect information about alleged instances of non-compliance with the IRM requirements. Syngenta Seeds has established a toll-free IRM Tips & Complaints phone line which is 1-877-GRO-CORN (877-476-2676).


Take Action Program
Take Action on Insects is a farmer-focused educational platform deigned to help farmers implement Bt stewardship practices. National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) in collaboration with the industry has teamed up with this program to create these resources and tools to help our growers plan how to meet the minimum refuge requirements and how to implement best management practices on their farm.

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